Working on a computer is a norm for most people in the corporate workplace all over the world. In most cases, they spend the entire day looking at the computer screen that produces light which strains the eyes due to long-term use. If you use computers for long periods, it is vital that you protect your eyes to avoid permanent damage.
Harmful effects of light from computers
Majority of people get exposed to blue light when using computers and hand-held devices. The light makes it possible for users of computers to view images or text on their screens clearly. However, the light can be harmful to adults and children because of the closeness of the screen to a person’s eyes. Also, the prolonged use of computers can have an adverse effect on one’s vision after a long time. Some of the harmful effects of blue light from computers include:
- Eyestrain – It is not easy to focus on a computer with blue light because it scatters easily resulting in straining of the eyes. The light which is emitted from these digital devices is quite harmful to the eye as it strains them when used for a prolonged time. In most cases, computer users find themselves constantly rubbing their eyes or starting to have blurred vision whenever they look at the screen for a long while.
- Damaged retina – Prolonged exposure to computer screens can adversely affect the function of the retina. The retina is sensitive to rays of light and can be easily damaged when it is regularly exposed to blue light. It is common to find older people experiencing eye problems such as macular degeneration where the retina isn’t working well.
- Blindness – Permanent loss of sight can be caused by light from computers in both young and old people. Most times the blindness occurs over time and if not caught in time can result in an individual losing their ability to see forever. In some cases, vision may be impaired in one or both eyes depending on the level of exposure.
Best ways to protect eyes when using computers
People that use computers daily and get exposed to the light emanating from the screens can protect their eyes from getting damaged. Some of the proven ways of safeguarding your eyesight when using a computer include:
- Wearing computer glasses
Buying glasses that are specifically designed to reduce glare when using computers is one of the best ways to protect your eyes. The best computer glasses are those that have a tint and are designed to reduce the amount of light that gets into contact with your eyes. Your optician can prescribe anti-glare lenses that will help in protecting your eyes. Apart from prescribed glasses, computer users can also buy glasses over the counter that have anti-glare to shield your eyes from harmful blue light from the screen.
- Reducing screen time
If your computer is the primary working tool, you are likely to sit before it throughout the day if you are to get any work done. However, you can try to take scheduled breaks within the day and ensure you step away from the screen at various intervals. The break can be for as little as five minutes or your entire lunch break to get away from the computer screen. If unable to take a break as advised, consider blinking as often as possible to give your eyes some time to rest. In case, your computer is used by children, consider having a specific time set aside for their screen time and ensure they are not exposed to the light from computers for too long.
- Investing in filters
The glare on computers can also be managed by using filters on the screen to reduce the amount of light coming into contact with your retina. The filters are available for different types of displays and are a real investment for computer users. Even so, it is important to buy high-quality filters to ensure that they offer the service as expected. Apart from computer screens, you can also invest in filters for other handheld devices that expose a person’s eyes to blue light.
- Buying an LCD monitor
CRT monitors are the most common type of computer screens and have been used at home and in offices for many years. These monitors reflect a lot of light that can strain the eyes when they are looked at, for a long time. However, LCD monitors do not have this problem making them a great alternative when looking to buy a new monitor. Additionally, LCD monitors are brighter and offer a better view for those using the monitor for professional and personal use.
- Keep the monitor away
When setting up your computer, ensure that the monitor is right below the eye level so that you have to look slightly down to see the screen. The distance between the monitor and your face should be at least twenty to thirty inches to avoid any cases of eye strain. Also, ensure that the range is comfortable for reading and doing other activities on the computer. If possible, invest in a good desk to avoid bending towards the screen when using the computer.
- Adjust display settings
Modify the display settings on your computer to reduce fatigue and eye strain when looking at the screen. Although settings vary depending on the changes you need to make, it is advisable to check on the brightness, color temperature and the size or contrast of the text on the screen. Ensure that the intensity of the screen matches the light of your workstation and the size of the text is comfortable to read regardless of the length of the document. If unsure of the best way to adjust your settings ask a professional or look for help online.
Overall, keeping your eyes from getting damaged from prolonged computer use should be a priority to everyone that uses these machines regularly. It does not matter whether you are young or old, protecting your eyes should always be a priority.